Double Superlatives



Double Superlatives :



When two things are compared with each other, it is more correct to use a Comparative than a Superlative.

1. This boy is the cleverest of the two. (Incorrect)
2. This boy is the cleverer of the two. (Correct)

1. This boy is the cleverer of the three. (Incorrect)
2. This boy is the cleverest of the three. (Correct)

1. Which was the most famous - Rome or Athens? (Incorrect)
2. Which was the more famous - Rome or Athens? (Correct)

1. He is the abler of the three sons. (Incorrect)
2. He is the ablest of the three sons. (Correct)

1. Which is the best of the two? (Incorrect)
2. Which is the better of the two? (Correct)

OTHER after Positives and Comparatives

When one thing is compared with another of the same kind, take care to use OTHER after an Adjective in the Positive or the Comparative Degree.

Positive : He is as clever as any other boy in the class.

Comparative : He is cleverer than any other boy in the class.

Similarly…

1. England has more ships than any other Power in Europe.
2. The Taj is more beautiful than any other mausoleum.
3. Shakespeare is greater than any other dramatist.

OTHER must not be used after Superlatives. When one thing is said to surpass all other things of the same kind, take care not to use other after an Adjective in the Superlative Degree.

1. He was the laziest of all other workmen. (Incorrect)
2. He was the laziest of all workmen. (Correct)

3. He was the most eminent of all other statesmen. (Incorrect)
4. He was the most eminent of all statesmen. (Correct)

5. Gold is the most precious of all other metals. (Incorrect)
6. Gold is the most precious of all metals. (Correct)

7. The tiger is the fiercest of all other wild beasts. (Incorrect)
8. The tiger is the fiercest of all wild beasts. (Correct)

9. He had the shortest memory of any other speaker. (Incorrect)
10. He had a shorter memory than any other speaker. (Correct)
11. No other speaker had so short a memory. (Correct)

Another very common form of error is….

1. The population of Calcutta is greater than Delhi. (Incorrect)
2. The population of Calcutta is greater than that of Delhi. (Correct)

The comparison is between..

(i) the population of Calcutta
(ii) the population of Delhi

Similarly…

1. The streets of Karachi are wider than Bombay. (Incorrect)
2. The streets of Karachi are wider than those of Bombay. (Correct)

Preferable has the force of a Comparative and is followed by TO. We must never say…more preferable than.

1. Knowledge is even more preferable than riches. (Incorrect)
2. Knowledge is preferable even to riches. (Correct)

We should always say the first two, the first three, etc.

THE TWO FIRST and THE THREE FIRST are meaningless expressions because they imply that two or three things may be first.

1. He has read the first two chapters of the book. (Correct)
2. The first three girls were selected. (Correct)

Double Comparatives and Superlatives are to be avoided.

1. This road is the more shortest of all. (Incorrect)
2. This road is the shortest of all. (Correct)

3. This pen is much cheaper than that. (Incorrect)
4. This pen is much cheaper than that. (Correct)

But the use of LESSER is quite common.

1. The lesser of the two evils….(Correct)
2. He had lesser money than I. (Incorrect)

Lesser is always used attributively (never predicatively) and always denotes the inferior in size, status or importance of two definite things or groups.

1. The lesser evil…
2. The lesser light…
3. The greater…

Avoid such sentences.

1. This is one of the best and powerful machines that have ever been made. (Incorrect)

2. This is one of the most powerful machines that have ever been made. (Correct)

If the first of two or more Adjectives is a Superlative, others should also be Superlative.

RELATED PAGES :



  1. The Adjective
  2. An Adjective
  3. Attribute Position of Adjective
  4. Predicative Position of Adjective
  5. Kinds of Adjectives
  6. Proper Adjectives
  7. Descriptive Adjectives
  8. Quantitative Adjectives ( Adjectives of Quantity )
  9. Qualitative Adjectives ( Adjectives of Quality )
  10. Numeral Adjectives ( Adjectives of Number )
  11. Definite Numeral Adjectives
  12. Indefinite Numeral Adjectives
  13. Demonstrative Adjectives ( Demonstrative Adjective )
  14. Definite Demonstrative Adjectives
  15. Definite Demonstratives
  16. Indefinite Demonstrative Adjectives
  17. Indefinite Demonstratives
  18. Distributive Adjectives
  19. Interrogative Adjectives
  20. Exclamatory Adjectives
  21. Possessive Adjectives
  22. Possessive Determiners
  23. First Person Possessive Adjectives
  24. Second Person Possessive Adjectives
  25. Third Person Possessive Adjectives
  26. Emphasizing Adjectives
  27. Coordinate Adjectives
  28. Paired Adjectives
  29. Cumulative Adjectives
  30. Non-Coordinate Adjectives
  31. Two Uses of Adjectives
  32. Attributive Use of Adjectives
  33. Predicative Use of Adjectives
  34. The Degrees of Comparison
  35. Comparison of Adjectives
  36. Latin Comparatives of Adjectives
  37. Irregular Comparisons of Adjectives
  38. Formation of Comparatives and Superlatives
  39. Formation of Comparative and Superlative
  40. Uses of Quantitative Adjectives
  41. Uses of Numeral Adjectives
  42. Definite Numeral Quantities
  43. Uses of Demonstrative Adjectives
  44. Uses of Distributive Phrases
  45. Uses of Distributive Adjectives
  46. Example Sentences with suitable Adjectives
  47. Uses of Degrees of Comparison of Adjectives
  48. Uses of Positive Degree of Comparison of Adjectives
  49. Uses of Comparative Degree of Comparison of Adjectives
  50. Uses of Superlative Degree of Comparison of Adjectives
  51. Use of The Comparative Degree
  52. OTHER after Positives and Comparatives
  53. Preferables in English Grammar
  54. Double Comparatives
  55. Comparatives which have lost their force
  56. Latin Comparatives
  57. English Comparatives
  58. Adjectives used as Nouns
  59. Adjectives in Pairs
  60. Adjectives preceded by THE
  61. Position of Adjectives
  62. Adjectives Used Attributively
  63. Adjectives Used Predicatively
  64. The Adjective Clause


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